Monday, November 20, 2006

The return of !!!!!

I suppose I could have edited this into today's earlier post, but it is totally worthy of having its own post.

Anthony Callea's official site now has about one minute long preview clips of the songs from his new album, as well as commentary from him about each track. A New Chapter is one of my most anticipated albums of the year, so you can imagine my reaction to this news. The clips have extremely low audio quality, so you really can't get more than a general feel for each song, but they are definitely worth listening to (unless you can be stronger willed than I and prevent "spoiling" the album). How I'm going to wait the half a week until its release plus the two weeks it will take to ship here, I have no idea.

Some highlights:
  • Learning that Anthony was tipsy/sloshed (take your pick!) while recording "Perfect Mistake"
  • Finding out that he worked with someone who worked on Kylie Minogue's Fever (I know that's so vague that it could be referring to the coffee go-fer, but Anthony's more specific than that; not that it really means anything, though, given the difference in the albums' sounds)
  • "If Only"--where did that song come from?! There's been no buzz about it (well, probably because no one had heard it...). Amazing!
  • Lyrics referencing Snow White!
This, and much more, await you at his official site.

Incidentally, according to my admittedly inexact calculations, this album is 53.33% uptempo (it feels like far more than that, though, but maybe that's just because the uptempo tracks are sticking in my head more), as opposed to the 31.25% of the first album. Since there are also more tracks on this album, that means there are (to an even greater extent) quantitively more uptempo songs, too! I'm sure the ballads will grow on me, but, just from a personal perspective, the more uptempo, the better (for the average artist, I'd say that percentage should be more like 80%, but I do understand that many people love Anthony's ballads, and he can do some very good ones--"When You Were My Girl" and "When I Get There," for example).

From what I've heard, the album starts off strong and fast-paced, with 3 of the first 4 songs being uptempo and rocky. It then moves back and forth between uptempo/mid-tempo and ballad for the rest of the album. Also, in the past, Anthony used "pop/rock" to describe songs like "Rain;" this time, when he says "guitar-driven," he means it.

This is all just too much for me to take in at the moment; I might attempt to form some more coherent thoughts tomorrow, but then again, I'm also thinking about trying to avoid listening to the previews again, as I still want the album to be somewhat of a surprise. Most importantly, though, this album sounds as if it will have a bunch of top-class songs on it; in addition to the previous fan favorite "Addicted To You" and previous previous fan favorite "Runaway," I'm just desperate to hear more of "Perfect Mistake," "If Only," "Stranded," "Want You To See," "There's Always Time," and "Almost,"with "Best I Can Be" (and maybe "A New Chapter") following closely behind. I can tell already that whenever I get around to reviewing the album, I am going to run out of superlatives.


Paul said...

ooo i had to look twice at that pic - is Antony channelling Gareth Gates. they look kinda similar now. Ah gareth.And antony. Of course. Must go pre-order his album, with a little luck it will be here by Christmas.

Poster Girl said...

Hmm...hadn't noticed that before, but could be! He doesn't look like this at the moment, though, but I'm still refusing to use pictures of his new haircut. I may have to break down soon, though :) I do hope the album arrives before Christmas--does shipping from Australia to the UK take that long?

atle73 said...

I have finally heard the whole album and must say I am a bit dissapointed in it. The ballads were as expected big orchestral Il Divo type songs as on the first album. I just can't stand that kind of music so I am not going to comment on them being worse or better than the ones on the first album. The big dissapointment was the faster songs. He's moved away from the pop songs that made his first album one of my favourites and into the pop/rock-format that everyone uses nowdays. And I am getting really tired of that sound at the moment since you just get too much of it. I think it would have been better to go either totally rock og stay pop. One of the few people that can make a whole album work in this genre is Shannon Noll. That's because he has a lot of dynamics in the sound from song to song. The new album from Anthony just feels very monotonous with not any songs really standing out. There are no "Rain" or "Take it to the heart" on this album. But at least some of the songs might grow on me and they are not bad, just not very good.
Have been waiting for this album forever and now I've just kind of giving up on it right away. There's just too much of this kind of music out there at the moment so everything kind of drowns in the crowd. So I think that this change of sound was a big mistake from Anthony. It seems like other artists have started moving back to pop now because that is the next big thing, and Anthony is moving in the opposite direction.

Poster Girl said...

Oh no...I haven't heard it yet, but you've hit upon my main fear about it. I'll definitely agree with you about the big orchestral ballads--they're not my thing at all. I had heard even a couple of big fans say that it took them a couple of listens to distinguish between the rocky uptempo tracks (which, if they're willing to say that, does make me wonder about what most people--the average listener who doesn't really have an investment in loving the album--will think). I am worried that my eagerness to see him doing things besides those orchestral ballads has led to me being excited about anything he does that's not that. "Rain" was an excellent song, and the Anthony song I think I most love is "Wanna Be The One" (and I really like his cover of Lionel Richie's "Angel," too)--from the sound of it, these new songs are about as far from that as you can get. I think, especially since Kelly Clarkson, a lot of Idols see guitars as the way to ensure a successful album. I wonder if it will work for him? Part of me thinks that if he wants to expand his fans (or at least the number of people who buy his albums), this pop-rock might be a good strategy, as it has a chance at increasing his airplay...then again, "Per Sempre" sold so well that I wonder if that's all the public wants to hear from him...and expanding one's fanbase to include new people won't do any good if you lose old fans. I don't really have a good sense for the market in Australia, especially in relation to pop--the Young Divas are successful there, but, then again, Australian Idol this year made the big deal out of "credibility," with people playing guitars as they sang and performing their own songs.

That said, I do like some pop-rock, so I'll hold out some hope for this album...I think, for me, it'll come down to whether or not he's fallen prey to the phenomenon I think of as "blaring guitars" (which I still can't define well...something to do with a lack of melody and just noise real hook...I need to work on defining that). After having one of my other Idols (Heinz Winckler) do that earlier this year, I'm not sure I can take Anthony doing that! I hope maybe they're growers...